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INSIDE POLITICS

The Washington Times' political blog.

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**FILE** Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (Associated Press)

Former Fla. Gov. Crist endorses Obama

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, estranged from the Republican Party after he ran as an independent in 2010 and lost to now-Sen. Marco Rubio, announced in an editorial in the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday he is endorsing President Obama.

**FILE** Rep. W. Todd Akin (Associated Press)

Akin reiterates he's not quitting

Making his first public appearance since his rape comments ignited a political firestorm, Republican congressman Todd Akin insisted once again that he won't bow out of his U.S. Senate race despite pleas from his Republican colleagues.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, center, and his wife Ann, arrive at the Oakland County International Airport with vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 in Waterford, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Romney joke riffs on Obama 'birther' doubts

GOP challenger Mitt Romney waded into conspiracy theories surrounding President Obama's birthplace with a one-liner on Friday, telling the thousands at a campaign stop in the Detroit suburbs that there is no reason for them to question where Mr. Romney or his wife were born and raised.

Kaine unveils $250,000 Spanish-language ad campaign

After releasing his first television ad of his U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia earlier this week, Democrat Tim Kaine unveiled an all-Spanish television ad Friday as part of a $250,000 buy of Spanish-language radio and television ads that will run from now until election day.

President Obama arrives Aug. 22, 2012, at JFK International Airport in New York en route to a visit in New York City, where he planned to attends several fundraiser events. (Associated Press)

Stimulus price tag rises again

The price tag of President Obama's stimulus ticked up slightly, to $833 billion, according to the latest report Thursday from the Congressional Budget Office.

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (left) speaks on Saturday, July 21, 2012, as former Sen. George Allen, also a former governor, listens during the Virginia Bar Association's senatorial debate at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. (Associated Press)

Poll: Allen, Kaine now in literal dead heat

The 2012 Virginia Senate race has been within the margin of error for virtually the entire campaign, but Republican George Allen now has literally drawn even with Democrat Tim Kaine in a new poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling after narrowly trailing in the firm's previous five polls.

**FILE** Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. speaks July 26, 2012, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (Associated Press)

Lawmaker questions Holder on abusing FBI travel privileges

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican and the ranking GOP member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants answers about whether Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and other senior Justice Department officials misused FBI aircraft, hindering the agency's investigations and ignoring a White House order to cut travel costs.